The Guardian reports that in the first 9 months of 2009, Volkswagen/Porsche made 4.4 million cars whereas Toyota made 4 million. Naturally, the majority of VW’s growth has come from the area which is growing even faster than VW, China. But the lads from the Middle Kingdom weren’t the only modes of growth for Volkswagen. The Wolfsburg warriors were also beneficiaries of European stimulus packages (A.K.A: Cash for Clunkers) where Volkswagen have large market share (Germany, UK, etc). Charity really does begin at home!
However, IHS Global Insight, the company who compiled this data, also gave credit to the other entity who helped Volkswagen’s ascent, namely, Toyota. Because of Toyota’s decision to almost halve global output in the first quarter of 2009 (for all the right reasons) from 2 million to 1.1 million, this put Toyota behind Volkswagen by quite a margin. Christoph Stürmer, a director at IHS Global Insight, said Toyota had “braked extremely hard” at the beginning of 2009. I suppose that makes a change from continuous acceleration.
Even though we still have another quarter to go, Volkswagen seem certain to stay ahead of Toyota and claim the title of “World’s largest carmaker by volume” for 2009. And you know what? This could be a happy ending for everyone. Toyota finally go under the radar & get rid of a title they never wanted and Ferdinand Piech finally achieves his dreams of world domination. As long as all those cars get sold, anyway.